Tour, detour

Published January 1, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

A memorable experience was what I packed into my 2021 valise of moments to keep, maybe not for keeps but at least for the first few months into the new year. A pandemic year deserves a pandemic adventure.

Sandy told Penny, and Penny told me, that the good people of Pasig were allowing booster vaccinations for non-Pasigueños. I jumped into the car, my faithful bubble, and headed for PhilSports Arena, not knowing that there’s a twin by the same name. Several minutes lost trying to find a guard, cop or knowledgeable person, it was through sheer luck that a soldier was available to answer my questions. “Ay,” he rued, “so many people like you have made the same mistake. The vaccination center is not here at PhilSports Arena but Philsports Center.”

With the help of Waze, we found the Center, several streets away. Who loves or love the name PhilSports so much as to willingly, deliberately confuse people, be they from Pasig or not?

The detour wasn’t all that bad, however, giving me a chance to discover the city, and what a surprise it was, to find the streets so lively, so crowded (if so narrow). There was one called Market Street, aptly named, bustling with people and activity under the sun. Eventually, we found the vaccination center, or so I thought. Actually, we had landed in Tanghalang Pasigueño, an old but elegantly structured building designed in art deco style, perfect for cultural and theatrical presentations. With a bit of imagination, you could say this is Mayor Vico’s little Malacañang, all that marble with a magnificent winding staircase, and a ladies’ room with a sign “Paz” and a men’s room labeled “Isigueno.”

But this isn’t the vaccination center. Advised to walk further along, we ended up in Bgy. Sagad High School. This is it… or it had better be. As soon as one of the lady volunteers saw me, she asked with no hesitation, “Booster?” In Pasig, they know their work so well they can read minds!

The exercise was over in 15 minutes. With single-minded determination, I got my booster, the one from China that my children insist is so low in efficacy “it might as well be useless.” Children!

Happy 2022!